My great aunt Mary told me this story one Christmas.
My mother’s grandparents had arrived in the City of Angels Back in the day when the sheriff was standing on the bridge, rifle drawn to send those Oakies and Arkies back home. Mary was the youngest and a tomboy and a black sheep. (She would have a job at the racetrack taking bets. Oh the shame!) Fell out of a tree and broke her arm. Great-grandma Phillips took her from doctor to doctor to doctor and were shooed away because they had no money. Ended up in Dr. Fate’s waiting room in Hawthorne or Inglewood, I don’t know now. Fate’s wife was his receptionist. She said, “Get that baby in here.” “But we’ve got no way to pay.” “Don’t matter.” And I am here because of that saintly pair. Probably paid for with some truck out of the garden.
On a Christmas visit to Dr. Fate with my Gammy (he delivered my mom, aunt, my sister and me), he recited from memory “A Visit from Saint Nicholas”. The good doctor–as he always did–wrote me a prescription for an ice cream cone at the Sav-on Drugstore downstairs.
And to all a good night.
God bless us, everyone (And most especially, Dr. Fate).